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Virginia 30, California 20, Obama 19, Florida 19, Us 14, Paul Ryan 12, Los Angeles 9, Msnbc 8, Craig 8, Biden 7, Hugo Chavez 6, Chicago 6, Ohio 5, Colorado 5, Schwarzenegger 5, Garth 5, Gray Davis 5, Keith 4, Washington 4, Afghanistan 4,
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  MSNBC    MSNBC Live    News/Business. Live news coverage, breaking news  
   and current news events with host Thomas Roberts. New.  

    October 7, 2012
    12:00 - 2:00pm PDT  

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and a good sunday afternoon, you're watching msnbc the place for politics. lean cuisine. be culinary chic. it's 30 days until election day. four days until the vice presidential debate. and look at this. 2.8 million, that's how much the romney/ryan campaign raised last night in milwaukee. we look at how the money will get put to work. topping the political headlines, a whole new round of fire on the sunday morning talk shows over -- the debate. tell you how nbc's "meet the press," senior obama campaign
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adviser robert gibbs conceded the president could have done better and also took aim at governor romney. >> it's not rocket science to believe that the president was disappointed in the expectations that he has for himself. but, look, i think part of that was because as i said earlier, we met a new mitt romney. speaker gingrich was pretty eloquent in running during the primaries in saying that mitt romney will say absolutely anything to get elected. >> former speaker and republican candidate newt gingrich said this morning that president obama has no excuse. >> the president of the united states had 90 minutes. now, if he had done his homework and actually prepared and actually studied romney, why didn't he say it? i mean why didn't he take romney head-on? the job of the president is supposed to be competent and be able to stand up for what he believes in and to be able to articulate what's wrong. mitt romney walked over him. right now, president obama is on his way to los angeles for two days of fundraising in we're back with the brain trust. keith boykin, nia-malika henderson, bob costa. one of the highlights will be the vice presidential debate on thursday. what's your headline? >> "biden/ryan trade barbs in fiery debate" or something like that.
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california. tonight he'll appear at a star-studded fundraising rally in los angeles where bon jovi, stevie wonder and katy perry, a few of the folks performing there. mitt romney has an event that's about to get under way in florida. a live report from the trail. in just a few moments. and there's also a new poll of likely voters in colorado. that was taken after the debate at the university of denver. that poll shows the president with a four-point edge, 47-43%. more on all of these stories >> that's your headline? if you own the paper, that would be your headline? >> well, i think it's going to be a much more fiery debate than what we saw with the presidential candidates. i think biden is going to be very aggressive. i think ryan is going to be on the defensive more. i think you're going to see a lot of zingers, a lot more action than the last debate. >> your last explanation was better than your headline. nia more malika, what's your headline? >> "biden on the offense, ryan on the defense." that's how i think it's going to throughout the next two hours. but we start in the sunshine state. where mitt romney will be holding the rally in just a few minutes. you can see a live picture there right now, live picture of him on -- live picture on stage right now. and that is congressman allen west in the foreground. this is his third straight day of campaigning in florida. nbc's peter alexander in port st. lucie where the romney campaign bus just arrived. what's the word there, mr. play out. the obama team obviously knows they had a poor showing in last week's debate. so they've got to gain some traction here. booiden is a really good debate. i think you'll see ryan be mr. wonky. that's his role. a lot of numbers you'll hear from him. probably more zingers from biden. i think they have some ground to make up. >> you know, i don't think a lot of people necessarily realize
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alexander? >> they're just getting started as you can hear, allen west speaking right now. joined by the attorney general of the state, pam bondy and the man and lady of the hour right now, ann and mitt romney areefg here as well. what we've witnessed over the last several days in florida is looser, more comfortable, more relaxed mitt romney as he gets prepared to speak here today. it's as if his performance in that debate didn't just give him a new confidence, but also energized the crowds that are seeing him throughout the country. craig, before the debate when he how much debating joe biden has done throughout the course of his career. he's run for president six or seven times. i exaggerate for effect. chair of the foreign relations committee. here's a guy who's spent a great deal of time in public in a healthy exchange of ideas. >> that's right. that's right. i think we'll see that on display. if you look back at 2008, he was probably the best debater out of the field. i think he's going to bring those skills to bear. he had a real high-wire act last time in 2008 when he had to go would speak to people at these events, they said they wanted to defeat president obama and that's largely why they supported mitt romney. increasingly, they believed he is the man who can do that. impressed by his performance, he's been sharing more of his personal asides, more of his emotional, compassionate story, the stories of three individuals he's been friends with, a 14-year-old child who passed away from leukemia. another friend of his that he knew from back when he was younger, who became a quadriplegic, stories that share a little of his personal story, against sarah palin. i think he came out of that debate looking like the statesman. i think ryan has to pass the commander in chief test. i'm not sure if when people look at paul ryan they see someone who could fill the chair in the oval office. >> robert costa, your headline, sir. bring it home. >> "biden with a smile survives, ryan for the most part shines." >> that's not what you
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an effort to say he's not just the data-driven techno carakrte >> when mitt romney does take the stage we will bring it to you live. peter, thanks. mitt romney has taken his success in wednesday's presidential debate and run with it observers noting a more open and comfortable romney on the campaign trail in virginia. submitted, but we'll take it. we're easy here. explain, please. >> i think, as you mentioned, vice president biden is a very experienced debater, but i think his challenge here is to have a little bit of energy, to have a smile, but to also survive against paul ryan, who though inexperienced on the national stage, is quite intelligent. i think we'll be bringing a lot of numbers, a lot of analysis to the debate. but biden has that populous touch. i think it will really help him. >> it really is going to be fascinating to watch on thursday will the obama camp have to regroup in, regroup and campaign against the new mitt romney? joining me, tom perriello, former democratic congressman. tom, good afternoon to you. >> good afternoon, thanks for having me. >> a new poll out showing americans with mixed opinions of president obama's job performance following the debate. let's take a look here, gallup poll, 48% approving of the job that mr. obama is doing as president. 46% disapproving. and talk about as well. who do you think is going to win that thing, robert? >> i think it's going to be a draw. it's more important for paul ryan to come out with that threshold of being in executive office. >> nia-malika? >> i got to go draw too, play it safe. >> you guys. you newspaper people. keith, i know your answer. i'll ask you anyway. >> biden is clearly going to win this debate. he's a great debater. ryan is going to be on the
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the poll taken over the three days following the debate. prior to the debate, 54% approving of the president's performance. 42% disapproving. how badly did the debate hurt the president, tom? >> i think we'll probably see it being temporarily, though we'll only know over time. people care a lot more about the great jobs report from friday. they care about what the plans mean for medicare. and as we've seen, mitt romney is paying a high price for one good night. defensive. >> thank you so much. appreciate your time, as always. >> thanks, craig. >> i'll be back next weekend for more coverage of all of the developments on the campaign trail. it is all here on msnbc, the place for politics. we'll work on that picture. look how big that guy's head is, keith. my god. we'll see you back here tomorrow. we saw that last tide commercial he made up 27 myths in 38 minutes, now he's got a lot of explaining to do. whether it's on medicare, why he's charging current seniors $11,000 more out of pocket. why people of my generation would pay over $200,000 for medicare under his plan? or whether you see even newt gingrich meeting a higher honesty and integrity standard than mitt romney. so i think it's really creating more problems over time. for mitt romney. but -- >> 200,000 -- tom, let me stop you there. 200,000 figure, that's the first
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time i've heard that where did you get that number? >> the center for american progress, which looked at under the romney/ryan plan, under their voucher plan, one of the few things that romney did not abandon in the debate. that means that people in my generation have to come up with $200,000 before we retire to cover the health care that we're currently guaranteed because of what we pay in every week with payroll tax. for a baby boomer that's about $60,000 before they retire. for millenniums, it's going to be even worse. these are real costs at the kitchen table. and obviously as newt gri noted, romney's plan is daz 5 trillion tax plan. it is heavily weighted towards the top. i think voters are smarter than mitt romney thinks and i think they're going to want to know the real facts. >> let's talk about virginia specifically here. this is a state where, where the race is extremely tight right now. the latest nbc news/"wall street journal," marist college poll showing 48% of likely voters supporting the president, 46%
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supporting governor romney. that's a virtual tie there. you can also see that governor romney gained two points from september. the president lost one. you are an expert of sorts on virginia politics. what does the president have to do to regain momentum in the commonwealth? >> well, i think he's got to keep focusing on what this means at the kitchen table in virginia. his plan is good for the middle class, romney raises taxes on the middle class. for current seniors and future seniors, what it means to have a strong defense, these are all going to be important issues here. the president's team has a much better ground game in the state. i think some of that movement is the base coming home to mitt romney. which is something you expect to happen. late in the cycle. and so, the president has made the case. unemployment in virginia is below the national average as it is in ohio and florida. and i think that's one of the reasons he's doing better in these states. is not just the jobs numbers from friday, that show that we have gone below 8%. but that it's really made an with the parents and the cute little baby triplets... well wait until your triplets move back home after college.
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impact in these communities. >> i want to go back and talk about what everyone else continues to talk b. the debate performance, in colorado on wednesday. take a list ton what jamcarvill said this morning and then we'll talk about it on the other side. >> it looked like to me he really didn't want to be there. his mind wasn't on it he didn't want to engage. he just wanted to get through the 90 minutes. >> that's the perception that we've heard from a lot of folks. not just on the right, the folks in the middle, folks on the left as well. we were enjoying our empty nest. and now it's just a nest full of laundry. lucky underwear. how can the president try and change that perception? are we going to have to wait until the next debate? or is there something that he can do between now and then? >> i think you've already seen it. he was just at a rally in wisconsin the next day with 35,000 people crowding the streets, his largest rally of the campaign. i think you've seen people really eager to see the fighting spirit in him that he's been doing more of on the stump. and i think that's important. but he's also people have to remember, he is a very thoughtful guy. he's someone who wants to weigh
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all the facts and as gingrich noted in his comments, romney made up his points with his critique and the president didn't push back hard enough. ultimately, voters care a lot more about the facts than they did about the performance. that's where the president is going to win this thing. >> both candidates campaigning heavily in your state, mitt romney was in virginia thursday at a coal mining rally. the president was at george mason university on friday. president obama won the commonwealth in 2008. to have a repeat performance there, what's it going to take? i know you mentioned a speaking specifically to pocketbook issues. beyond that, what's it going to take? >> well, i actually think this has been a deeply substantive election. i don't think it's been about the gaffes and the personalities. if you look in virginia, women are voting overwhelmingly for the president. and the democratic party. and that's not because of gaffes, that's because of a substantive difference of who they think cares about women. whether that's on women's health or women's economics. you've seen a real shift of concerns about medicare. that's because i think the
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president is protecting medicare and increasing benefits. whereas romney/ryan want to get rid of that. and in manufacturing you've seen for the first time really in years, a significant increase in manufacturing jobs. ronnellny wants to bring back the outsourcing loophole. in fact his largest donor gets a $2.3 billion tax cut under the romney plan. part of that is that he makes 90% of his money overseas, when you think about the auto recovery, romney and obama were in two different positions. when you look at outsourcing, they're in different positions. in manufacturing. for a lot of parts of virginia that don't get quite as much attention. central and southern virginia, the fact that the president has stood up for american manufacturing has been significant. i think you'll see the gender gap. i think you'll see middle class feeling like romney just wants to rig the system a little too much for the high end. >> tom perriello, former democratic congressman, thank you. we want to note that we did invite a surrogate from mitt
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romney's campaign to join us later. but no one was available on the sunday afternoon. meanwhile, the cash has been flowing in for both candidates over the past few days. who's winning the money race? and where those millions will go, coming up. plus -- he lost his office after one of the most unusual elections in american history. on the anniversary of that california recall, we're going to talk one-on-one with former governor gray davis, that's a little bit later. and we're also once again keeping a close eye on the mitt romney event in port st. lucie, florida. you can see his wife there, ann romney at the podium. when mitt romney takes the stage, we will bring it to you live. you're watching msnbc. the place for politics. with the spark miles card from capital one, thor's couture gets the most rewards of any small business credit card. your boa! [ garth ] thor's small business earns double miles on every purchase, every day! ahh, the new fabrics, put it on my spark card.
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governor romney at a campaign event in port st. lucie, florida, the third day in a row that he's been campaigning in the sunshine state. 29 electoral votes up for grabs. we want to apologize in advance for the quality of the audio. we want to make sure we listen in to the candidate. take a listen. >> raise taxes by a trillion dollars. actually with obama care, it becomes $2 trillion. that of course will make it harder for small businesses to hire people and to employ people. it will make it harder for middle income families. by the way a study came out that showed with all the spending and all the borrowing and all the interest on that debt, that he will ultimately have to raise taxes on middle income families by $4,000 a year. this amendment, i will not raise taxes on middle class families. [ applause ]
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>> if he is re-elected, he will install obama care and with it, your taxes will go up and above what they already will in your current health care plan, according to the congressional budget office. my plan is that i will finally get control of the costs of health care by repealing and replacing obama care with real reforms. >> all right. we told you that the audio was bad, we didn't realize it was that bad. so we're going to cut out of this thing. we can tell thaw we've had some folks who have been listening and basically the governor repeating a lot of what he's been staying on the stump and also the debate you probably heard there repeal and replace obama care and repeated his pledge of not raising taxes on the middle class as well. let me bring in "washington post" political reporter, nemalika henderson and gonzales, deputy editor of the rothenberg political report and the
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contributing writer to the capitol hill newspaper "roll call." good afternoon. i want to start with sound here. this is sound that we can understand. mitt romney spending his third day campaigning in the battleground state of florida. as the dust continues to settle from last week's debate. this is, this is the governor, this is the governor yesterday. take a listen. >> there was billy hults, he come to my event. it touched my heart to see him there. they pushed his wheelchair forward. he came up and i reached over and put my arm on his shoulder and i whispered into his ear. and i said billy i love you and god bless you. i got a call from a friend that he died the next day after that visit. >> that's governor romney showing a softer side in florida yesterday. talking about his personal connection to three people who have died. including a former classmate who attended his rallies recently. let me ask you, this is the first time that we've seen the
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governor try and show us this softer side. we saw it at the gop convention. but this looks and sounds a bit different. >> absolutely. i have to say, i mean i've been to tons and tons of mitt romney rallies, have never heard him on the stump. talk about these particular stories. we did see that at the rnc. you heard other people testifying about mitt romney, trying to humanize him a bit more. you obviously saw ann romney doing the same thing. they're trying to capitalize on what they see as a, a bounce out of the debate. where people did see a softer side of mitt romney even in that debate. he was giving some anecdotes about people he met on the trail. again they've got to humanize mitt. i add they're doing it so late in the game. 30 days left for this election and you've seen the democrats all summer paint a very different picture of mitt romney. so he's got some work to do in the last month. >> i want to bring pete e
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alexander back in this conversation. peter spends a lot of time on the road with governor romney. pete you've listened to all of these stump speeches, you probably heard them hundreds of times. the mitt romney that you've heard over the past couple of days, how has that message, how has that candidate compared to the mitt romney that you've, that you heard prior to that debate in colorado? >> yeah, i think to just add to the conversation you're having right now with the folks with you. i think that's exactly right. he's really felt looser, more relaxed. this is something he's long resisted doing. telling his more personal side. he didn't speak largely about his mormon faith on the campaign trail. but for the last two days and we expect to hear it again today, he told these personal stories and referred to a young boy he referred, 14 years old with leukemia, who referred to him as brother romney. he used to outsource that responsibility to others.
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and now he's taken that upon hisself. i think it a lot of it comes from the simple fact that at these events, there's a different sense of confidence in mitt romney than previously existed. a lot of people who came to his rallies for the last several months wanted to beat barack obama and they were supporting mitt romney because he was the republican nominee. increasingly, they believe this guy has the chops to do it having witnessed what happened in the debate on wednesday. paul ryan behind closed doors at a fundraiser said he seemed a lot like ronald reagan and that's a person a lot of people in the republican party hope that he can replicate of success of. >> thank you for your time. let me bring you back in. why now? if this is something that seems to be resonating with voters at least at these rallies, why wait until 30 days out? why didn't we see this governor romney a month ago? >> i think part of it is that after the democratic convention, we saw a little bit of an uptick
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in optimism in the electorate. we saw the president's job approval numbers get better. so it's not just enough for republicans to say, things are going poorly, we have to make a change. it has to be mitt romney connecting on a personal level. convincing people that his vision for the next four years is better than the president's vision. just the we're off on the wrong track is not going to work under the new circumstances post convention. >> all right. we're going it take a quick break, "washington post" writer and rothenberg political report stick around. more bad news for drivers, the price at the pump continues to go up in california. will it spike elsewhere? we're going to tell you where it is now. that's straight ahead. first, what was that thing, that thing that mitt romney took out of his pocket and put on the podium at the debate? no surprise, conspiracy theorists. have lots of theories about it. we're going to share one or two of those with you, you are watching msnbc. even on sunday, the place for politics.
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the president's debate performance is still the talk of the town. "saturday night live" suggesting the president was busy thinking about michelle obama's pro tension anniversary gifts. world's greatest mom coffee mug. everybody likes coffee. >> number 20 -- >> excuse me, governor, mr. president -- >> i'm sorry, yeah, yeah, what's up? >> mr. president, governor romney has just said that he killed osama bin laden. would you care to respond? >> no, you two go ahead. >> i love that guy. last night, the president and the first lady did finally celebrate their 20th wedding
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anniversary at a fancy georgetown restaurant. no word on the gifts that were exchanged. the president did tweet these pictures out on their actualage r anniversary on october 3rd. jim lehrer firing back at the critics who said he let the debate get out of hand. telling politico, i don't consider that being passive, i consider it being effective. it's not my job to control the conversation. if the candidates give me resistance and i let them talk, to me that's being an active moderator, not passive. meanwhile the internet continues to be abuzz about what exactly mitt romney put on the podium at the debate? was it a cheat sheet of talking points, perhaps? the campaign confirming -- it was a handkerchief to keep the powder dry. that's not stopping conspiracy theorists. they're calling it hanky-gate.
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president obama with an unbelievable record. and mitt romney debuting the softer side, will it make him more likable to the viewers still on the fence? >> the people of california want me to be their governor. and i will do that and nothing else. >> and a little bit later, he changed california politics in a way no one ever thought he could. we'll flash back to see how the austrian bodybuilder turned governator, how it all happened. [ male announcer ] this is anna, her long day teaching the perfect swing begins with back pain and a choice. take advil, and maybe have to take up to four in a day. or take aleve, which can relieve pain all day with just two pills. good eye.
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i'm craig melvin, good sunday to you, here's a look at top stories making news, drivers in california a waken to another jump at the pump. the price of gas climbing four cents overnight. the price of regular now $4.67 in california. hugo chavez facing his biggest challenger yet as voters in venezuela head to the polls, chavez has ruled the south
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american country for 14 years now. and two ethiopian runners making history at the chicago marathon. they broke the course record by nearly a minute. that's a big deal in marathon circles. chilly weather didn't stop an estimated 45,000 runners who participated in this year's marathon in chicago. there may be another first in store for president obama. we just learned this weekend that his campaign has raked in a record-setting $181 million this cycle. and the president is on the fast track to be the first billion-dollar candidate. that's a lot of spending money. but not a lot of time to spend it. so what can the president buy in 30 days? nbc news senior political editor. mark murray joining me on this sunday. good afternoon to you, sir. >> good afternoon, craig. >> that's a hard number for us to wrap our heads around. what is the president going to actually be able to do with the cash he has on hand in 30 days? >> he's going to be able to
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spend it on tv adds. and here's the challenge that the obama campaign knew they were confronting over the past year. it had to be all the outside republican money. the super pacs, 501 c 4s, flooding the airways and the haul of over $181 million, by the obama campaign and the dnc, it gives them the potential to almost go one-to-one parity against the romney campaign and all the republican outside groups. so this is all just about being able to be even on the tv ad wars with 30 days left in the presidential campaign. one thing worth noting on the billion dollar number, that's when you add the obama campaign and the dnc it comes to $946 million. that's how we're getting the billion figure. >> that's a staggering haul. that is an eye-popping total. paul ryan, he raised $2.8 million for the romney camp at one fundraiser yesterday i'm told. what do you know about the romney team's fundraising for september? >> we know that in addition to
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that ryan haul, they raised about $12 million in the 48-hour period after the debate. showing that they're online grassroots fundraising is also kicking in to high gear. both sides are going to have a tremendous amount of money. but one thing where president obama might have a little bit of an advantage is, the grassroots online fundraising, you actually can just raise that online, you don't have to go and hobnob with donor, spend an entire day or two. president obama is going to be in san francisco raising money tomorrow. but the romney campaign gets a bigger share of its money from big donors, rather than the small grassroots donors. >> mark, when we look back on the election here in 31 days, 32 days, there's been so much talk about the role of super pac money in this election. is it having the kind of effect we thought it would have? >> i think you can make the argument that it hasn't had as big of an impact just because all the different outside groups.
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there's almost diminishing returns. but where the super pacs, on the republican side did come in was during the summer when mitt romney didn't have all of that amount of money. after winning his primary. they allowed him to pretty much be able to compete with the president obama's campaign that had been saving up money over the summer period to run tons of ads. >> our senior political editor, mark murray, taking time off from watching the 'skins, we appreciate it. to the war room we go, our war room strategist, joining me from washington, chris co-feen is and from philadelphia, republican strategist, joe watkins, working on sunday, keeping it holy. we appreciate you. >> thanks for that. >> let's get back to something that we touched on a few moments ago, joe. i want to play this clip again. of governor rollny. the governor showing his softer side. i want to play the clip and talk about something on the other side. take a listen. >> on one occasion, he brought me into his bedroom while he was
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still at home and he said, mitt, what happens next? and i talked to him about what i believe about life hereafter. >> that's the governor talking about a 14-year-old boy that he counseled when he was a pastor of his mormon congregation. that is a governor romney, that heretofore no one has really seen, chris kofinas. why now? >> this is part of their strategy to build off of their debate performance. i mean clearly, i would say it's partly the strategy going into the town hall format. town hall formats are very different than traditional debates. you have people in the audience. people going do react to what you're going to say. my guess is they're trying to get him comfortable with the stories. the problem with the romney campaign is it's a good story, a powerful story. when you look at his policies and how they're going to impact people who depend on health care for example, the whole argument about if you get rid of obama
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care, you're getting rid of a program that helps people whose children have cancer. or have preexisting conditions. that's where you have a problem. emotional is great, but when your policies are wrong, that's not necessarily a solution. >> joe, how important is it at this stage of the campaign, to even bother trying to make him look likable? is this an important strategy or not? >> well it's a very important strategy. i mean after the strong debate performance earlier this week, a lot of people are taking a second look at mitt romney and there are lots of undecideds left out there and he's got to win them, especially in all the swing states. >> a lot of undecides left, is that accurate? >> in a close campaign, two decides, if they change your mind and come for you, are plenty. you don't want to take any vote for granted and leave any on the table in what's going to be a close election. it's important for mitt romney to let people see who he is. just like with the debate, it's style that matters. as well as substance. and the ability to make your case and to make it in a convincing and caring and compassionate way.
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>> chris, the point that chris that you just raised about going into the town hall format, maybe using this to soften him up before that. that makes a lot of sense to me, that's the first time i've heard that. i want to put something up from a "newsweek" article in the week and this is something else that resonated with us. this is something that we've been talking about over the past couple of days. michael tomasky writing quote maybe he's just sick of being the president. how else to explain that sorry debate? he also seuuses the convention speech as an example. chris kofinis, what do you make of the argument? that perhaps the president might be over being president? >> well, i don't believe that. one i don't believe it and i can't believe it. i mean i listen to the reality here is i think the president had a bad night. that happens, in elections, it just the reality. he had a bad night on the wrong night. and now there's two more debates. in the stakes i think are huge. on both candidates.
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and neither one can afford, you know, a let-down. the president's strategy is really simple, it's not always easy to execute because you're debating another person who is not always going to play along with your strategy. but he's got to go in there and have a full-throated defense of his presidency. your opponent is not going do make that defense. your opponent is going to try to tear your apart. >> you're right, chris. >> you have to use your statistics and argument to make your case. he has to do that and he has to do that strongly. >> i think that the president was being very presidential in the debate. i think he was being presidential, he wasn't being a candidate. and i agree with chris. i think that just because he had trouble in the first debate doesn't mean he'll have trouble in the other two. he's a very skilled debater. he's brilliant man. >> joe, do you think the vice president is going to be vice presidential down in kentucky late they are week? >> i think it's going to be an old-fashioned fist fight. >> it's going to be must-see tv. >> it will be, joe biden is a very skilled debater. he's been at this for a long time. he's a very good on his feet.
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and paul ryan is a very bright guy. he'll do a great job in this debate. but it's going to be quite, quite a battle. >> chris, do you think that last question, do you think that the vice presidential debate. this week, does it, does it take on even more importance considering what happened in colorado for the democrats last week? >> yeah. i mean absolutely. here's what i think has happened since the debate. you know the media now is focused on these debate performances and to a large extent, even the public is focused on these debate performan performances. so going into the vice presidential debate did you're the obama campaign from democrats' perspective, we not only want to do well, we want to be able to go on the offense and disabuse ryan of any of his facts or attacks. what you don't want to happen is ryan come out of that debate with any kind of victory or clear momentum. because then that feeds that momentum on other side. >> democratic strategist chris ko fimpb is and republican strategist, joe watkins with the rare double agreement during that segment.
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joe saying twice, i agree with you, chris kofinis, i hope you dvred this segment. still to come why the candidates are spending so much dime courting the commonwealth. and how it might very well be the key to winning the presidency. first we head out west and go to california where nine years ago today, the government got turned upside-down. gray davis standing by the former governor, live from los angeles. ah. fire bad! just have to fire roast these tomatoes. this is going to give you a head start on your dinner. that seems easier [ female announcer ] new progresso recipe starters. five delicious cooking sauces you combine with fresh ingredients to make amazing home-cooked meals.
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in today's flashback, we go back nine years to 2003. the year californians made political history. that was the year that voters recalled governor gray davis and sent a former body builder and hollywood actor to sacramento. the election was down to the wire. here's how tom brokaw reported the story the next day. good evening from california.
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governor arnold schwarzenegger. even though the polls predicted it, a lot of people expected it, and even author wanted it, it still is a stunning development in american politics and for what it could mean across the country. governor gray davis lost the recall vote by 10 percentage points and schwarzenegger got half the votes cast for governor in a field with more than 100 other candidates. >> the people of california want me to be their governor. and i will do that. and nothing else. i will work as the governor, i will work as much as i can. even if it is around the clock. there will be more time for morevies or anything else, i will take this job very seriously. i will bring back the economy, i will bring back the jobs. i will clean up the environment. i will help with education and improve education. all of those issues we want to make sure that we concentrate on and work very hard to accomplish those things and also to cut down the budget, the budget crisis that we have.
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so there's a lot of work ahead. >> it's been nine years and while both men have stepped out of the political arena, former california governor, arnold schwarzenegger, is back in the spotlight, promoting a memoir called "total recall." many are calling it an apology tour. last year the former governor making headlines after coming clean about a secret affair with his family's housekeeper that resulted in a child. listen to what schwarzenegger told david gregory this morning about the indiscretion. >> it was a major screw-up, as you've said, i've hurt my wife, i've hurt the kids. >> are you a man of good character? >> i think so. >> even after everything you've done. >> look, i'm sure you made mistakes, i'm sure a lots of people out there made mistakes. i made my fair share of mistakes and that's what my book is about. >> joining me now in los angeles is former california governor, gray davis.
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governor, good afternoon to you. >> good afternoon to you. >> given what's come to light over the last year about schwarzenegger's infidelities and other things, how do you feel knowing that this was the guy that ultimately unseated you? well i'm not going to comment about governor schwarzenegger's personal life. obviously what's come to light as he said, this morning is a major screw-up. it was a terrible thing to do. he's acknowledged it. i've known maria for a long time. i wish her the best, the children the best. i hope somehow everyone can go on with their lives in the schwarzenegger family. i'm not sitting here as an expert on his life or passing judgment on anyone. >> let's talk about his political legacy instead. let's play clip of what he said on "meet the press" and talk about it on the other side. take a listen. >> okay. >> i was convinced in 2003 when we had the recall election, that i should forget about the idea of making $30 million a movie. that i should just get out of the movie business and should think about serving the people
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and giving something back to my state and my country. >> what did he give back to his state, governor? >> i think like all governors, craig, he had some successes and failures. think i put myself in the same category. he made some progress on the environment. but some bad things happened. the deficit got much bigger after i left. unemployment today is 10.6%. when i left it was 7%. so i like arnold, i think did he some good things. and some things didn't work out. that can be said of me, it could be said of almost every california governor. >> over the last few months we've seen major cities like stockton and san bernardino as well in california, we've seen those cities go bankrupt. what does it say about the fiscal challenges facing municipalities throughout the country? >> well i think there's a lot of challenges to cities, counties, states and federal government. the short answer is we have to learn to live within our means. i'd like to say when you go do a restaurant and you look at the
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items on the menu, they all look great. but we don't order everything. if we order everything, we'll die, we can't digest all that. we have to make choices, i believe if we decided to live within 95% of what the revenue brought in today we can make choices that will affect about 95% of the things we can do. when i was governor, that would be just fine and we could rein in spending and rein in our appetites on all kinds of levels, that would be a positive step forward. >> i did want get your take on the race. how would you characterize the obama campaign so far? >> i'm a big supporter of the president, i'm going do see him tonight. i think he'll win this race, we have 31 months of positive job growth. i liken it to a plane that was spiraling out of control and was going to crash. a new captain came in, the plane is gaining altitude, not as fast as we want, but clearly headed in the right direction. i think the american voters
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trust him. i think he's the person to lead us out of this mess. which is a lot better than it was four years ago. >> do you think guys like me, do you think folks in the mainstream media as it's called have we made too much about what happened in colorado last week? >> well i think governor rom any had a very good day and got a lot of style points. but he changed his position about six times on everything from taxes to t-shirts to everything else. only big bird, he's socked it to big bird. but at the end of the day, people want someone they can believe. they know we're still in difficult times. they want someone they can trust at the helm. i think i've thought for year and i still believe that the president will win. >> former california governor, gray davis, thank you so much. we appreciate your time. >> my pleasure. and you can see more of arnold schwarzenegger's interview with david gregory at presspass.nbcnews.com. we'll take to you virginia the hottest state in the race for the white house. questions?
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perhaps you've heard, virginia, key battleground state. back in 2008, the state's rural areas voted mostly republican, but mr. obama drew enough support to win the state with 53% of the vote. today the president and mitt romney are in a virtual tie with just 30 days left before the election. so what will it take to win virginia? joining me to help answer that question, larry, the presidential historian at university of virginia. also, nathan gonzalez is back. he's the deputy editor at the rothenberg political report. thanks for coming back, nathan. larry, good to have you with us. let's talk about the commonwealth here. mitt romney has picked virginia as the place to lay out his foreign policy agenda. the governor's going to be speaking at the virginia pill tear institute in lexington tomorrow. larry, why is virginia so important this time around?
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>> well, last time virginia was the closest to president obama's national average. nationally, he got 52.9% of the vote. virginia, he got 52.6%. so virginia is increasingly seen as a fulcrum in the national election. doesn't have to turn out the same way this time, obviously, but virginia is a prize that both sides want, and there's a good reason. it's actually very, very close. much closer than some of the national polls have suggested. >> larry, how has the state changed politically and/or demographically over the past four years? >> well, you've added a percent minority to virginia's population. i would say probably white voters in virginia will constitute no more than 72% of the turnout. the rest will be minority. president obama gets 80% on average of all minorities put
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together whereas romney needs to cross, in this state certainly, the 60% mark among white voters in order to win. >> nathan, as we just saw there on the graphic, african-americans the largest ethnic group there in virginia. they represent roughly 19% of the population there. how critical will turnout be among black americans? how critical will that be to an obama victory? >> i think the president isn't going to have a problem with african-american turnout, even though it is -- >> really? not compared to four years ago? >> even though it's not the same enthusiasm as electing a black president for the first time, the fact that he's still president re-elect will be important. it's going to be more about turnout in northern virginia, but also flipping it to mitt romney, i think he's going to have to make sure he gets -- runs up those margins outside of northern virginia in order to make sure he's competitive. >> and the real virginia, as it's called. i want to throw up a graphic here, larry. this is from a piece in "the
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economist" that i read last week. it talks about the impact of new voters in virginia, the impact they could have. it's called "the incomer effect." it says the outer suburbs of washington, d.c. being the most populist in independent parts of the state. is that where the nominees need to focus in order to win the commonwealth? is it going to be about alexandria and fairfax county? >> well, that's -- those are the areas important for president obama. i mean, he has to clear the 60% mark up in the northern virginia area. northern virginia, as a whole, is now a third or more of the vote in virginia, which is enormously greater than it used to be. if you can put northern virginia together with the hampton roads area, which tends to be more divided politically but can go either way, and you can add some key inner suburbs and the central cities, university towns throughout virginia. you've got a majority in the
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state. obviously, the rural parts of virginia are much more heavily for romney. for example, southwest virginia, which is a coal mining area. mccain carried 60%. i expect romney to do at least as well. >> larry, nathan, thank you so much for being with us on this sunday afternoon. do appreciate your time. >> no problem. still ahead, nearly 20% of voters this year are trying a voting method that apparently isn't quite foolproof. we'll talk about that. first, the president headed to los angeles for that star-studded affair. katy perry, stevie wonder. it's all about raising cash in the final days of the campaign. we'll talk about it all. msnbc, the place for ticks. [ chuckles ] ♪ [ honk! ] ♪ [ honk! ] ♪ [ honk! ] ♪
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then there's this. $5 trillion. it's a number that got a lot of play in wednesday's debate. but what's the truth behind that number? we'll investigate here in a few minutes. topping our political headlines right now, mitt romney just wrapping up a rally in port st. lucie, florida. it's his third straight day of campaigning in the sunshine state. many observers saying he's been showing a softer side since the debate. this afternoon he once again told a number of personal stories, talking at one point about his admiration for a woman he met whose husband died fighting in afghanistan. >> at the funeral for her husband, there were those misguided protesters. remember that? these protesters would show up at the funerals of our servicemen and women and came that to that service for her husband. the media asked her, what do you think about these people protesting at your husband's funeral? she said this, and i quote, chris died for them to be able
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to protest. this is our nation. these are the american people. >> meanwhile, president obama's heading to california today for two days of fundraisers. an update on that in a moment. gallup's daily tracking poll shows the president with a three-point lead over mitt romney. that poll includes responses given before and after the debate. take a look at this. gallup's job approval poll taken entirely after the debate. 48% say they approve of the job the president's doing while 46% disapprove. before the debate, gallup had the president's approval rating at 54%. 42% disapproval. more on these stories throughout the next hour. president obama and his campaign might have broken a fundraising record last month, but he's still in fundraising mode, as i mentioned a few moments ago. president obama will land in los angeles where he will be attending a star-studded concert
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this afternoon followed by a $25,000 a plate dinner tonight. he'll end the evening at a private event with former president bill clinton and a dozen of his top donors. it's the latest in a series of trips to tinsel town to raise money. joining me now is our nbc white house correspondent. we've been talking about it all weekend. president obama's record setting fundraising total for last month. $181 million raised in just one month. campaign clearly not hurting for money, so what's behind these continued trips to tinsel town? >> reporter: you've already answered your own question. you saw those polls tightening up. everyone considers mitt romney to have won the debate last wednesday. the president has these high-profile events in los angeles. he has three in los angeles, three more in san francisco. we'll talk about that concert in los angeles later today. you're right, he starts off with
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a smaller event. bill clinton, i think there are 12 people attendees at a private residence. george clooney hosts this concert. a lot of big names. jennifer hudson, katy perry, stevie wonder are going to be performing. another fundraiser after that. a smaller gathering. i think that's $25,000 a person. then it's on to san francisco where he's got even more high-dollar, high-cost per plate dinners. $40,000 per plate. big bucks in california, whenever a president, especially democratic president, goes out there. he's going out there for basically one reason every four years. that's to hit the atm. in between, he's got an event where he's going to dedicate a national monument to cesar chavez, the famous champion of immigrant worker rights in the agricultural sector in the '60s and '70s. he's going to have some campaign events in ohio on his way back. he has a down day here on wednesday. thursday it's back down to florida. perhaps the key swing state, craig. >> mike, thanks.
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appreciate that. vice presidential candidate paul ryan surfaced after three days of intense debate camp. he spent the afternoon at a fundraiser in chicago. he's heading back home to wisconsin. while ryan's most intense debate prep may be over, there's no doubt this is probably the most important week of his political career so far. ron mott is joining me from wisconsin. good afternoon to you, sir. >> hey there, craig. good sunday afternoon to you. paul ryan just wrapped up a fundraiser down in chicago, about 85, 90 miles south of us here. he is on the way back here. he lives just up the road. as you mentioned, he just finished that intense three-day debate camp down in virginia. ted olson, the former u.s. solicitor general, was his debate prep partner and a very skilled lit gator, a guy who has argued cases before the u.s. supreme court. he was giving paul ryan the
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business, if you will, in those cram sessions. from tomorrow on, we don't really know where paul ryan is going to be. tomorrow he's got a couple events. one down in the toledo, ohio, area. then we bop up to the detroit, michigan area. we don't expect to see him until debate night. in between tomorrow afternoon and thursday night, we're not real sure exactly what he will be doing. there are not expected to be any public eastbound traffvents. last night paul ryan had a huge fundraiser in milwaukee. a record fundraiser, as we understand it. again, down in chicago today waiting to see what those numbers are like. back over to you, craig. >> ron, thank you, sir. >> reporter: yes, sir. >> absentee ballots are more likely to be contested and less likely to be counted. yet, states like florida are
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ramping up their use of the absentee ballots. in 2006, 16% of the population used absentee ballots. 29% in 2010. with the presidential election in the balance, will absentee ballots be this election's hanging chads? joining me to talk about that is the leon county supervisor of elections. good afternoon to you. >> good afternoon to ya you as well. >> florida just finished counting the primary votes. why are so many absentee ballots not being counted there? >> it depends on the jurisdiction. you have a tremendous variability across the state with more ballots being thrown out, i think, in the urban south districts. when people vote by absentee ballot, the only way an election official can verify it is
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compare the signature on the outside to the original signature on a voter registration application. if they don't match, the ballot can't be counted. you oftentimes, as individuals age, or sometimes you have a stroke, those signaturing can dramatically change, and those can't be counted. >> you're somebody on the ground there who spent a fair amount of your life devoted to work with electio elections. absentee balloting versus in-person voting. which of these is more susceptible to fraud? >> unquestionably it's absentee ballots, which are cast out of the view of any public official, which i personally have witnessed intimidation, for example, from senior citizens who really are sent ballots, but those ballots are voted by their children. oftentimes the seniors don't even see the absentee ballots.
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there's a whole host of problems. in miami-dade, we have absentee ballot handlers who work in convalescent homes. you can have a tremendous amount of abuse with the absentee ballot process. in florida, we're forced to use more absentee ballots because the state has made a tremendous attack on early voting hours, reducing five days of early voting from our state process, so more voters, rather than try to face the longer lines that are going to be anticipated on election day, are looking at the absentee ballot, for example, as a way to try to get through the process. >> i want to give folks here some useful information, folks in florida who are going to be voting. what do people there in the sunshine state, what do they need to know to ensure that their absentee ballots are counted? >> well, one of the things you might do is just send a note to the absentee -- or the
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supervisor of elections office and sign it. that signature that you're now sending to the election official is going to look pretty much dead on to the signature that we see when we verify the absentee ballot. so making sure that we have a current specimen of your signature, if you have not voted absentee ballot frequently. we have a lot of voters that regularly vote absentee ballot on a frequent basis, and they don't have any problems. what we're going to see, though, is new people who are unfamiliar with this process, and those mistakes will lead to ballots not being counted in florida. >> before i let you get out of here, i got to ask you the question i've heard a lot of folks asking. is florida going to screw this thing up again? >> well, i think we've got a pretty good process. if we can just keep the political partisans from interfering as they seem to be with our process, i think we can make this process work. we got the longest ballot in our history. we've got a lot of challenges
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facing us. we're ready for this election. we're doing it right now. >> all right. come tuesday night and wednesday morning, if things aren't going well down there in florida, i'm calling you. make sure we have your cell phone on record. >> all right. >> good sunday to you, sir. thanks again. today is election day in venezuela. could the voters there force hugo chavez to hang it up? we're going to get a live report right after this. . it's so weird to think that just a few days ago i could just blend in like every other perfectly normal 8-foot tall talking bird. >> big bird making a surprise cameo. more of what everyone's feathered friend had to say about all the fluff after the debate. and speaking of debate, what's the truth about that $5 trillion figure? we'll get the facts of the matter coming up. this is msnbc. ♪
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they say time heals all, but that might not be true when it comes to the wounds incurred during a political debate. this weekend both campaigns are out with new ads claiming that the other candidate was outright dishonest. >> when the cameras roll, a performance began. but the problem is, that's all it was. >> i don't have a $5 trillion tax cut. i will not reduce the taxes paid by high-income americans. >> is that actually true? no. his plan actually would dramatically decrease the tax burden on the wealthy in this country. >> president obama continues to distort mitt romney's economic
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plan. the latest, not telling the truth about mitt romney's tax plan. the ap says it doesn't add up. abc news, mostly fiction. even the obama campaign admitted it wasn't true. >> well, okay, stipulated. it won't be near $5 trillion. >> obama's plan, $4,000 -- >> all right. so we're about to settle this thing, hopefully. who told the truth, who did not? once and for all. joining me now to talk about it, edward isaac, deputy white house editor for politico. he also edited politico's debate fact check article. we wanted to get him in here to help us sift through some of this stuff. edward isaac, good sunday to you. let's start with the issue getting the most attention. that alleged $5 trillion tax cut. here's what obama said, here's what romney said at the debate. let's take a listen and talk about it on the other side. >> i'm not looking for a $5 trillion tax cut. what i've said is i won't put in
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place a tax cut that adds to the deficit. >> governor romney's central economic plan calls for a $5 trillion tax cut. for 18 months, he's been running on this tax plan. now, five weeks before the election, he's saying his big, bold idea is never mind. >> all right. what what's the deal here? >> this is a complicated one. we have from the romney campaign a plan that has been analyzed by an independent group that said it would lead to around $450 billion a year in revenue that's cut from the -- revenue that's not there as a result of these taxes. the obama campaign has then taken this and extrapolated it over ten years, and they have arrived at $5 trillion. well, ten years times $450 billion doesn't get us to $5 trillion. so that's not quite right. but what is true is that the romney campaign, governor romney
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himself, has not explained what they're going to do to make sure that this is revenue neutral, as he said. he says, and the campaign says, that there are all sorts of loopholes that would be closed and other things that would make sure there is enough money coming in otherwise to make those tax cuts revenue neutral, but we don't yet know what those are. the romney campaign has left a big hole here in the facts of their telling us. it may be that their plan will be revenue neutral. what's clear is we don't know enough about the plan. >> they also spent some time talking about pre-existing conditions, whether romney's health care plan would cover pre-existing conditions. let's roll that tape. >> some of the prescriptions he's offered, like letting you buy insurance across state lines, there's no indication that somehow is going to help somebody who's got a pre-existing condition able to finally buy insurance. >> in fact, i do have a plan
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that deals with people with pre-existing conditions. that's part of hmy health care plan. >> is it part of his health care plan, edward isaac? >> it is, but the language here is important. what the romney campaign talk abouts is maintaining. anybody can get insurance if they've had a previous -- or pre-existing condition as long as they've maintained continuous coverage, meaning they've had insurance constantly moving from job to job. that's not the case for a lot of people. for those people, the pre-existing condition protection might not be there or it might be, but it might be very expensive. that's one of the things the president said is a big part of his health care reform plan, making sure it's not to expensive that people can't afford it. if they -- in the romney plan, it's possible that you would be able to get it no matter what, but it would be so expensive that it would be cost prohibitive. >> governor romney also brought up the issue of out of work college grads. listen to what he said. >> what we're seeing right now
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is, in my view, a trickle down government approach which has government thinking it can do a better job than free people pursuing their dreams. it's not working. the truth is that 50% of college graduates this year can't find work. >> is that accurate? >> well, again, this is one where it depends how you're defining the terms. 50% is not a number people have, but 53.6% the ap found a couple weeks ago is the number of college grads who are unemployed or underemployed. underemployed, key term there. doesn't mean they're out of work, but it could mean people are coming out of college with really great degrees, a lot of education, and are working at jobs that don't meet that. that could be anything from, you know, somebody with a fancy diploma working at mcdonald's to somebody with a business education working as an assistant, not quite up to the level of what they have studied in school, have been prepared for in school. >> edward isaac of politico, thank you so much for trying to
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help us make sense of some of this stuff. you know what, i want to encourage folks to go to pl politico.com as well. it's a good read. appreciate your time. >> thank you. still ahead, we'll look ahead to this week's vice presidential debate. what will the headline be the day after this one? also, mitt romney lets the cat out of the bag, well, at least as far as what he was really thinking back when he first met ann. the juicy details up next. you are watching msnbc, the place for politics. with the spark cash card from capital one, olaf's pizza palace gets the most rewards of any small business credit card! pizza!!!!! [ garth ] olaf's small business earns 2% cash back on every purchase, every day! helium delivery. put it on my spark card! [ pop! ] [ garth ] why settle for less? great businesses deserve the most rewards! awesome!!! [ male announcer ] the spark business card from capital one.
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mentioned in the debate affected you at all? >> oh, it has. i feel like i'm famous now. i was walking down the street the other day, and i felt that everybody recognized me. >> okay. >> it's so weird to think that just a few days ago i could just blend in like every other perfectly normal eight-foot-tall talking bird. >> meanwhile, governor romney showing off his personal side on the trail. may have gotten too personal, correcting himself after making the following comment about the first time he noticed his wife ann when they were teenagers. take a listen. >> this is a young lady who went to the same elementary school i did. i didn't notice her then, but when we got to high school and she was just about 16 we went to a party together. she was with someone else, and i decided that i wanted to take her home with me, so i -- or her home, rather. that was later.
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that was later. >> and harsh words from arnold schwarzenegger about his former opponent while talking about his debate strategy in the 2003 recall election. >> the details i used humor. that was the important thing. that's why she played into all my stuff. she was perfect. she kept whining. oh, arnold, you always say this. you're always this. you're terrible. you make so much money. she was this whiney woman sitting there. >> you got to wonder what she was thinking about that. mitt romney has a big foreign policy speech tomorrow. which topics will he try to tackle? we'll talk about that. plus, why allowing voters to cast their ballots early is revolutionizing the way we see election day. also, revolutionizing the way candidates campaign.
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a good sunday to you. i'm craig melvin. here's a look at the top stories making news right now. at least one person is dead after a car bomb exploded near police headquarters in damascus. this is the latest in a series of bombings in the syrian capital in northern parts of the country. >> california governor jerry brown has just ordered regulators for winter blend gasoline to be sold before its scheduled date. all this before gas prices have spiked over the weekend. now averaging $4.65 a gallon in california. and two ethiopians celebrating their big wins in the chicago marathon today after shattering the course record by nearly one minute. an estimated 45,000 runners participated despite the chilly weather in the windy city. i want to bring you other
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news in another presidential election. this one in venezuela. voters in that country went to the polls today. hugo chavez facing his toughest challenge. he's staged a comeback from cancer. he wants a new six-year term to shape the future of the oil-rich nation. nbc news correspondent kerry sanders is in the venezuelan capital. good sunday to you. >> reporter: well, craig, the election is still ongoing. the polls are open. in fact, they're likely to stay open late because there is expected and certainly indications of a 90% voter turnout. you mentioned a few minutes ago about the price of a gallon of gas in california. that's why this election here is so important to the united states. hugo chavez, as you mentioned, the socialist president here, has been taking the oil profits. he says he's been using those oil profits to funnel it back to people in this country who are
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the poor, giving them free housing, subsidized food. the opposition here says that much of the oil profits has wound up in a corrupt siphon and that money has been diverted and that he would like to not only lead this country in a new direction away from socialism, but that he would like to see that some of that money be reinvested back into the oil company here. it was nationalized by hugo chavez, but in the last ten years, even though this country has the largest oil reserves in the world, they have pumped 30% less oil out of the ground because critics say there is an ageing infrastructure that's not getting proper attention. so we'll see how this comes out. the pollsters say this is the strongest challenge that hugo chavez has ever faced in an election in this country. craig. >> kerry sanders from venezuela. keep us posted, good sir.
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thank you. back here, for millions of american, the first tuesday in november will be just another day. in 35 states and the district of columbia, you can now cast your ballot before election day. it's a far cry from 2004. remember these scenes milli? millions of americans determined to avoid lines like this. they're now voting early. >> thank you so much for voting. >> this group of first timers did not want to wait. >> my parents, they usually go, and it takes a good three, four hours. >> coming out for early voting. probably be less hectic. >> for these high schoolers in cleveland and hundreds of thousands of other voters, it's about convenience and not just in ohio. since early voting started, especially in battleground iowa, thousands have flocked to polling places and even more have voted by mail. by effectively turning election day into election month, early voting has changed the way we
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pick our president. >> campaigns can take advantage of that longer window of voting to encourage their supporters to vote and persuade people who may not be likely to vote. >> mitt romney, paul ryan, the republican ticket. >> both campaigns use public information about who has voted early and who has not to decide where to deploy more door knockers and run more commercials. to get them early, surrogates even craft specific messages. >> early vote! find your friends! get them to early vote! >> the best thing we can do right now is bank votes. so vote absentee. >> that's a deliberate plea you hear from the gop more often than four years ago. >> in that election, all of the evidence suggests that more democrats voted early than republicans. >> shortly after, ohio's gop-controlled legislature voted to scale back some early voting. >> there's no question, but the motivation is political.
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>> congresswoman marsha fudge represents part of northeastern ohio, including cleveland. >> there was only a four percentage spread in the electorate. 4% of the vote, you can get that easily by taking 100 votes here, 100 votes there. >> john hew stead is the ohio secretary of state. >> you can start voting 35 days in advance, either by mail or in person. over the course of five weeks, you have approximately 750 hours to vote from home, 230 hours to vote in person. >> on friday, a federal appeals court reinstated in-person early voting in ohio on the final three days before election day. nationwide this year, most attempts to restrict early voting have failed. still, jake streeter was not taking any chances. >> knock it out on the first day. then i could spend the next 29 days getting everybody else out to vote. >> a couple of recent state polls that give us a peek at
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previpr precisely who's voting early, especially in ohio. president obama leading in ohio among early voters. 57% to 39%. in 2004, just 20% of all ballots were cast early. this year, experts are predicting nearly 40% won't wait until november. to the brain trust we go. keith boykin, democratic strategist and cnbc contributor. ni nia-malika henderson. good sunday afternoon to all of you. keith, let me start with you. as of today, early voting under way in 35 states plus the district of columbia. despite recent court rule in addition ohio and pennsylvania and florida and some other battleground states that give victories to the obama campaign, how worrisome are the efforts to impose rules on early voting?
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>> i think it's very troubling, especially if you look at the state of ohio. in that state, until recently, what they attempted to do was restrict the access to early voting based on the county. so in some democratic-leading counties, they weren't allowing you to vote early. it was so overtly discriminatory that they decided to actually change that and try to scrap that rule. i think that the obama campaign is concerned about it. the democrats are concerned. they want to make sure there's a good turnout. 40% of the turnout this year may be from early voting. that's very important. >> nia-malika, early voting, until i started doing research, i didn't realize what early voting has done, what early voting has done to elections in this country. >> that's right. i mean, as you said in that report, it's extended a voting day to really a month-long process. 35 states, of course, doing early voting now. last go around in 2008, 30% of those votes were cast prior to election day. so it really has reshaped the
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way campaigns are run. folks can go out early. they can target people. a lot of the voters you showed in that report looked to me like obama voters. so you've seen, i think, democrats realize that if they can extend this just beyond election day into a month, they can go on a saturday. they can have folks from churches go early that benefits their side. of course, republicans have those advantages now too. they're doing the same thing. >> robert, is there one party that benefits over the other in regards to early voting? >> if you look at ohio, republicans are really focusing at suburbs of columbus, the capital, and of cincinnati. those suburban areas are where mitt romney did very well in the republican primary. they know they're in a real disdi disadvantage in the state. the bailout is a popular theme there. both parties, craig, are focusing on the number of absentee ballot requests that that's the number political
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insiders are paying attention to. >> in ohio, the secretary of state, he sent them to everyone. >> the absentee ballots tend to usually favor republicans. that's part of it too. the democrats do better in the early voting because democrats are more likely to go to the polling places. >> it's going to be interesting to see what happens after this election with regards to restrictions on early voting, whether in person or by mail, restrictions on voter i.d. it's going to be interesting to see what happens over the next -- what do you think will happen? >> i'm not sure. i think that after the election -- >> right. >> i think if this is a really close election and we see there's some sort of result that dpends on the turnout in one state or another with earl vi voting, i think people will look at election fraud and issues of election reform. if you look at what we did in 2000, we had an election decided by 537 votes in florida. we had hanging chads. it didn't cause any change in
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the electoral system. i'm not sure it will make a difference here. >> let's take a quick break. don't go anywhere. we're going to continue this conversation. not so much this conversation, but we're going to continue talking about politics, just a day after the 11th anniversary of the u.s. invasion of afghanistan. mitt romney planning a huge foreign policy speech tomorrow. a preview of that on the other side of this break. ♪ [ male announcer ] how do you make 70,000 trades a second... ♪ reach one customer at a time? ♪ or help doctors turn billions of bytes of shared information... ♪ into a fifth anniversary of remission? ♪ whatever your business challenge, dell has the technology and services to help you solve it.
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what do you think is going to happen with the high court on this? >> my goodness. always dangerous to try to do tea leaf reading of the supreme court. we know last time it was 5-4, o'connor writing that decision. everyone is looking at justice kennedy, who descented la ee ee last decision. i think we just never know what happens with the supreme court and how this will come down. also, if it comes down before, you know, this campaign, if, in fact, it sort of injected this court watching into this election and people start to look at the different candidates and how they might shape the supreme court. the next president is going to have a mighty, mighty strong hand in appointing a new supreme court justice. >> robert, do you think jechief justice roberts will be looking to prove his conservative credentials after that health
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care ruling? >> i think nia had a great point. after the health care decision, it's hard to predict what chief justice roberts will do. same with justice kennedy. i know the mitt romney campaign is not really looking at the supreme court decision that's coming up as a real major issue on the campaign trail. but talking to a lot of republican candidates, you hear they want to address the issue of racial disparity on college campuses. the open question is rather racial preferences is the way to go. >> keith, what's at stake here? i mean, nine years later, have we changed to the point we no longer need race to be taken into consideration when considering college admissions? >> no, i think affirmative action is still very important, but the republicans and the conservatives have been trying to get rid of it for the past 20 years. they've been using the court as a tool to do that. it could very well be struck down in this session. it wouldn't surprise me. it would surprise me if it happened before the election. it usually takes a long time before they make these types of decisions. >> let's talk about mitt romney's address tomorrow.
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foreign policy address there in your backyard -- i guess it's not really your backyard, but it's in virginia. major policy speech in the key battleground commonwealth at vmi. romney team sensing a clear hoping here against president obama with all that has happened in the middle east over the past few weeks and months, especially in libya. nia, what do you think governor romney reveals tomorrow? does he reveal anything significant? >> well, my guess is he probably won't. we've seen mitt romney give several major foreign policy speeches, one last year down in south carolina. he gave another out in nevada. of course, he had the foreign policy trip. he's obviously trying to make headway around this libya issue, which, in fact, if you read a lot of the reports coming out about the administration's handling of this, he has a real case to press against this administration in terms of the shifting reasons that the libya thing actually happened. so i think he's really going to talk not only about american exceptionalism, but also talk about america being a leader in
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the world and make the case that obama has not led, not been a strong leader on iran, on the middle east, the arab spring. that's what he'll do. i think the question is whether or not he has the credibility to step into what some might say is, in fact, a foreign policy gap when it comes from this administration. >> i mean, you've got a president here, of course, obviously, the successful raid that killed osama bin laden, winding down the war in afghanistan, ending the war in iraq. is this an area where governor romney feels like he has a leg to stand on? >> i think he's got to try to do anything he can. i think he's definitely going to mention afghanistan. not only the anniversary, but he failed to mention it in the republican convention. he's got to make up for that. he probably won't talk about osama bin laden much because he's the guy who said it's not worth moving heaven and earth, spending billions of dollars trying to track down one guy. he's still got that history. if obama is smart, he's going to use that against him and hammer him.
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>> robert, i want to bring you in here just to switch gears a bit. i know you had a conversation with governor romney's wife. you talked to ann romney. you landed that interview on friday, talking specifically, i understand, about the debate and what it felt like for her before and after. what did she tell you? >> ann romney, for a long time, has take an lower profile on the campaign trail. we've really seen her emerge as a real player in this campaign. she's been talking a lot about the personal side of her husband. for a long time, mitt romney avoid the personal in his speech. we just saw this past week after the debate, romney is going back and talking about his work as a mormon bishop, working within the community in the greater boston area. you're seeing a warmer side from romney. >> i want to ask you about that. the timing is interesting with regards to the warmer mitt romney. why now? why not a month or two ago? >> the romney campaign always felt the convention was the time to introduce romney to the
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public with those personal stories. they don't feel the convention was a total success in introducing romney. now they he has a good debate, they feel they have space between the second and third debate to talk more about that side of mitt romney and not just totally focus on policy. >> you find the timing curious, keith? >> well, they've got to do something to humanize him. i think the debate helped a little. the convention, as robert said, was a failure. i did like robert's piece, though, in the national review. he did ask some good questions. the one point that confused me is when ann romney said that president obama needs to do his homework. it seemed like it was a bit of a dig. you don't really expect that. >> it was a dig. >> you don't expect that from one who's trying to be above the fray and trying to be this sort of friendly person. it kind of ruins her own reputation, makes her a political actor as well. >> keith, real quickly, i don't think it ruins her reputation. one part of her political persona is she has a sharp
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tongue, and she's a fierce defender of her husband. you don't always see it on the trail, but that's part of who she is. >> i think if michelle obama said something like that, people might be more critical. >> let's take a quick break. when we come back, the predictions on what the headlines will be the day after the vice presidential debate, or as we're calling it here, must-see tv. don't go anywhere. [ male announcer ] this is anna, her long day teaching the perfect swing begins with back pain and a choice. take advil, and maybe have to take up to four in a day. or take aleve, which can relieve pain all day with just two pills. good eye.
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